July: Five of Wands

At the time of writing this as a draft in Word (since Squarespace has a tendency to crash and eat my posts), we are only three days into July, and the card of this month has already practically slapped me in the face. 

In a good way. 

I think.

I may not have mentioned my “Year Ahead” tarot reading tradition here before, but it is essentially what it sounds like.  In January, I do a reading where each month of the year is drawn a card, representing a general theme or idea for that month that I should keep on my mind. 

For July, we have the Five of Wands.

As this is one of the cards of the Minor Arcana, several layers must be noted here.  First, the number, and second, the suit.

When we look to fives in tarot, we move away from the fours, which indicate a moment of pause or a holding pattern.  The fives are a step away from stability.  Fives can be a bit chaotic, even if they can release some energy that needs to diffuse. 

Wands are associated with the element of fire.  Some words that come to my mind when I think of wands: ideas, personality, passion, action, simmering, flash.

The Five of Wands is a conflict card, and I believe that the conflict indicated here, for me, deals with ability and skills in relation to others.  This card may indicate a challenge or disagreement in ideology, and if you take a look at the Ride/Waite/Smith version of this card, the people holding the staffs are only striking wood to wood.  Nobody is being physically injured.  However, while we’re busy arguing about the ideas that we might agree on parts of, we’re just striking one another instead of focusing on the greater issue at hand.  It would be much more productive to speak civilly and focus our action more deliberately.  Spinning this “discussion” into a problem-solving brainstorming session would be much more effective.

However, I will say that it is important to be able to be able to articulate your ideas and stand your ground if indeed you are involved in a conflict.  I tend to hold fast with my opinions, especially if someone is trying to sway me in the moment.  I’m stubborn and smart, and can’t be persuaded easily, especially if the discussion is combative.  Discussion is beneficial in situations where all parties doing the discussing have a common goal and respect one another.  In the end, it’s all about you and your reaction, though.

My skills in relation to others: I have a specialized knowledge of many things.  I love to read and I generally just like knowing things.  But in order for my actionable ideas to gain traction, sometimes I do need to work (and talk) with other people.  Other people are sharpening my mind this month, and some other people are annoying me this month (no thank you on the unsolicited advice!), but it already feels like I’m going to be uniting with some like-minded people in the near future.  It may not be without a bit of stress on my end, in a “will they like me?” sort of way, but luckily, I think the people that I’m being met with are receptive and kind.

So why I am I sharing the same card from two different decks?

When I started reading tarot, I was hindered by the deck that I had chosen – it was a novelty deck based on a legend, and without a thorough knowledge of the tale, the cards were much too complex and laden with canon to really read with as a beginner.  The decks that I currently use have personalities and have their own strengths in their different styles.  One thing that is fascinating to me is how the artwork for each card in any given deck can be extremely unique.  It helps me to compare the cards sometimes during or after a reading to determine the true meaning of the card within the context of the reading.  Sometimes a new word will jump out at me, or I’ll remember when I’ve seen that card in a reading before.  It takes a more research project tone to the overall reading, but I do enjoy tedious and thorough things just for the sake of the details.

What do you all want to learn about regarding tarot?  I am tending to write when I feel it’s something unique, educational, or particularly interesting for me, but I’d love to better cater to this audience’s needs.